A special message from our CEO, Kevin Miller, mobile view banner, Travis CU

What this Economy
Means for You

A Special Message from Kevin Miller

The question that I am asked most often as I make my rounds in our wonderful Northern California communities is “What’s Up with the Economy?” While there is no simple explanation that can address everything that is happening, I wanted to share a general overview about the economy and what that may mean to our members and the communities we serve.

Inflation continues to reach levels that have not been seen in 40 years and will remain top-of-mind for some time. Much of this is related to the rise in gasoline prices, as well as supply chain issues tied to the pandemic and other world events.

The Federal Reserve is focused on raising short-term interest rates in hopes of slowing the economy down to help lower inflation and in creating a soft landing for the economy as the risk of a U.S. recession increases. If there is a recession, many economists believe it will be short lived, with hopefully minimal impact on the current economic environment.

Is This a Good Time to Save or Invest?

There is an old saying, “Buy Low, Sell High” that remains good practice but is easier said than done in these economic times. What we do know is historically, stocks tend to outperform fixed interest rates and inflation, and remain the “go-to” for long-term financial savings. For example, today’s stock market volatility provides an opportunity to buy more stock shares with the same amount of money than you could in December 2021.

The general trend of the stock market is up. This means a consistent approach to investing and saving remains an effective way to grow your money, especially if you focus on longer-term investments and more diversification. Naturally, these decisions will depend on your personal circumstances.

Is This a Good Time to Borrow Money?

Interest rates on 30-year mortgages are coming off record-setting historical lows. When you put that into context over the past several decades, rates today are still relatively low and affordable. According to Freddie Mac tracking from 1971, the long-term average for a 30-year mortgage is just under 8%, with a high average of 16.64% in 1981. This means rates remain below the historical average and that this is still a good time to buy a home or refinance an existing mortgage.

As you have noticed, home prices have appreciated a great deal over the past several years and there’s uncertainty if they will rise further or start to drop. Be prepared to act.

Today’s automotive supply chain issues have made buying a new car much more costly because demand has been outpacing supply. If you don’t need a car right now, waiting six months to a year might make sense. On the other hand, if you sell or trade in your current vehicle today, you may get more for it than in the past. Like home loans, buying a new car today will depend on your unique situation.

Coping with this Economy

I wanted to close by providing some general tips to help you with your financial wellness. First, stay focused on your long-term financial goals by continuing to plan for retirement, college education for your children and grandchildren, a first (or second) home and to build your emergency savings.

Continue to pay down your debt, especially on higher-interest rate credit cards and loans. By doing so, you are earning a better “return” than you can earn in the stock market today. It is also a faster path toward building wealth.

The strong job market means there’s more professional growth opportunities available today that could lead to better careers tomorrow. Imagine where you want to be in a few years and seize opportunities that help get you there.

Travis is a full-service credit union ready to assist you with all your financial needs. Whether opening your first checking account, obtaining tools to better manage your finances, looking to buy your first home or refinance your existing home or car, or managing your investments, we are here to help improve your financial wellness.

I’m proud and excited to lead Travis Credit Union as we continue to help our members improve their financial lives. I look forward to meeting you out in the community.

Kevin Miller
President & CEO
Travis Credit Union

Forbes Top 10 Credit Unions in California Award
Desjardins Financial Education Award, 1st place nationwide, adult and youth
US Air Force Distinguished Credit Union of the Year
Travis Credit Union Blog footer logo

© 2024 Travis Credit Union. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy | Third-Party Sites | CCPA | Notice at Collection | Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Notice 
Avoid Foreclosure | Disclosures | Online Security & Safety and How We Protect You | Service of Process

By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies as described in our Online Privacy Policy.

If you are using a screen reader or other auxiliary aid and are having problems using this website,
please call 1-800-877-8328 for assistance.

NCUA logo footer

This Credit Union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.